By Gail: Much of life these days seems to involve crashing blindly into other people and forming incoherent, unsustainable relationships with people we barely know and without any real stable foundation or solid base. Many people carry a belief that they have to be in a relationship, so they search everywhere without any real clarity or sense of value. Any relationship we had in the past that didn’t work out the way we had hoped adds to our baggage. We become more determined that the next one has to work, and more fearful that it won’t. And that is where we become trapped.
Crashing from one unhealthy relationship into another and clutching on to them long after we should let go is very common. It is also very damaging. Many people feel the need to be in a relationship because they are not comfortable with who they are on their own. Being happy alone is essential for being happy in a relationship. It cannot work the other way around.
We are so busy rushing into a relationship, any relationship, just because we think we should have one. We race in thinking this person will be everything we need, complete us, make everything better. They won’t. It doesn’t matter how amazing they are, how beautiful or loving or supportive. If you are not happy with you, then sooner or later you will not be happy with them either.
There is another way to live. Another way to approach lasting and meaningful relationships that will draw you closer to your desired outcome. It is important to start with an established base, a firm foundation from which the relationship can grow. A building without a solid foundation will crumble, relationships are the same. What are you building your relationships on? Trust, compassion, shared values, understanding, communication: or lies, secrecy, doubt, fear, insecurity and paybacks? Build your relationships with a foundation that is sturdy and solid enough to last.
Building a strong foundation requires honesty, openness, and work on both parts. It is about setting boundaries without having unrealistic expectations. Intentions need to be made clear and they need to be voiced near the beginning. What do you both want, expect, need? What is non-negotiable? You are crafting a relationship, creating it from the ground up. The longer you wait to bring up issues that bother you the more likely these things will cause problems later on. You may think some things go without saying but if they are important to you then they need to be said – lovingly and with compassion.
We all carry a little personal rule book in our heads. We think this is the way the world is and everyone should automatically behave in accordance with this unwritten set of rules. Everyone is reading from the same book, right? Wrong! We all have different stories and we all express them differently. You cannot take for granted that anyone else has any idea what is in your rule book, it doesn’t matter how much they love you, we all have different rules and only we know what they are. Have the courage to speak from the heart about your values and desires.
It is important to distinguish between expressing your heart openly and being demanding and needy, especially with someone that in all honesty you don’t have a solid base with. If you do keep repeatedly scaring partners away then look objectively at how you are appearing to them, and also the type of person you keep trying to date. Being attracted to people who are not available or not really what we want is a form of self-sabotage that keeps us from building healthy and fulfilling relationships.
Healthy boundaries need to be set right from the start. You are constructing the blueprint for a loving relationship, it is important to know what the base is constructed on, what it is built of, and where the fence line is – to know what is included and what is excluded from this partnership.
You might think you don’t want to exclude anything, but what about excluding the complaining, the negatives, dragging your partner into your work or personal drama that they really don’t want to hear and can’t do anything about anyway? Taking out external stress on your partner or family can cause problems in relationships. Life can be hard enough without dumping added drama onto those you love. Often the people that love us feel a burden of responsibility to try and fix what is bothering us, even when it is not something that they can influence. This adds stress to them and to your relationship. There is a difference between sharing burdens and just dumping garbage on another.
One of the reasons a lot of people don’t set boundaries and voice their true feelings and intentions right from the start is fear. Fear of being rejected. Fear of feeling silly or looking foolish. Fear of scaring your prospective partner away. Fear is perpetuating fear. You emit a frequency of fear and that is reflected back to you in your partner’s behavior. By allowing fear to rule us we think we are avoiding rejection, but in fact we are rejecting ourselves. Then we are guaranteed to be rejected because we never gave ourselves a chance for it to be otherwise. Choosing fear over love guarantees a 100 percent rejection rate every time. We fear we may feel foolish if we speak our hearts, but missing out on opportunities for love is much more foolish. You have to take a risk to have an adventure. Guarding your heart and true feelings is a recipe for loneliness.
Scaring away a prospective partner early on is actually beneficial. Better to know sooner than later. How much time and energy are you going to pour into a relationship with someone that doesn’t want one? How much love are you going to pour into a relationship that is never going to fulfill you? How much energy are you going to waste hoping something will change? Instead of finding someone and hoping they will change, why not look for someone that already has the qualities and values you desire? In the long run it is easier to find someone who is already what we want than to latch on to anyone in the hope they will become what we are seeking. If you are asking when your partner will change, turn it around and ask how they are fulfilling you now. If they are not what you want now, chances are they never will be. That is something that you need to face up to. You must be willing to accept your partner exactly as they are. You can’t change them, you can only change you.
Find friends and partners that you share common interests and values with. Look for people that are already stable and comfortable with themselves. Relationships formed by unstable people are always going to reflect that instability. They will blow away at the slightest disturbance or disruption. Starting with a strong and substantial relationship with yourself is fundamental to creating lasting relationships with others. If you constantly undermine yourself with negative self-talk and sabotage yourself with undesirable behavior then you will undermine your relationships too. Having a solid base from which to hold your own space is crucial in constructing sound relationships. It is difficult to build any solid foundation when your own self keeps crumbling.
Look to the relationships you are building with yourself and those around you. What are they constructed of? What are they founded on? Are they lasting structures that will endure, or are you building unstable relationships that will collapse at the first sign of trouble? The strongest relationships are created with a loving and solid base, a robust and reliable structure that offers support and enables growth. Strengthen your own existence and take the time to form lasting connections that run deep and true. Constructing foundations of love takes time and effort but in the end it is much more fulfilling than rushing from one shaky relationship to the next, or trying to prop up a relationship that is clearly crumbling. It is never too late to construct a loving foundation which will allow growth and support. Take time to get to know yourself and others. Take time to build the sort of relationships you want to be a part of. Take time to create a foundation of love that is enduring and lasting and reflects your values and desires. The stronger your foundations are the stronger your relationships will be. Live a life founded in truth and love and you will be well supported in all that you do. Your relationships are your choice, choose to build on the foundations of love.
Love and Light,